Dragon 1/72 Neubau-Fahrzeug #1
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
German’s initial attempt at creating a heavy tank began in
the early 1930s. Known as the Neubau-Fahrzeug (“New Construction Vehicle”), it
was not a success, however. Slow-moving, boasting multiple turrets and requiring
six crewmen, it wasn’t well suited to the type of rapid, mobile warfare that
blitzkrieg tactics required. For this reason, only five Neubau-Fahrzeug heavy
tanks were built by Rheinmetall-Borsig (Rh-B). The first two 23.41-ton
prototypes (numbers 1-2) were manufactured in 1934 out of mild steel so they
were not suitable for combat. Instead they were used by the tank training school
at Putlos until 1940. The design featured a 3.7cm KwK L/45 cannon, a 7.5cm KwK
L/24 main gun and two 7.92mm machine guns.
Since the first two prototypes were so different from the last three, it only makes sense that Dragon would require a lot of new tooled parts to do these tanks and so they have. You can see this from all the greyed out areas on the parts diagram. As with just about all their new 1/72 armor kits, it comes with the DS tracks that are easily painted. The three turrets are all designed to rotate and in fact, they encompass a lot of the parts count. I particularly like that the road wheels are molded as a unit, which makes assembly and keeping things lined up pretty easy. Here is a rundown of all of the kit's features, courtesy of the Dragon PR folks:
- Newly tooled Neubau-Fahrzeug Nr.1
- Slide-molded upper hull produced w/intricate details
- Slide-molded turret w/MG reproduced
- 7.5cm KwK L/24 and 3.7cm KwK L/45 produced w/frame antenna
- Side fenders w/pattern detail
- Intricately molded on-vehicle tools
- Drive sprockets and idler wheels accurately recreated
- One-piece suspension system produced for easy assembly
- Complicated exhaust system fully represented
- Delicate engine deck reproduced
- Headlamp on front of hull can be folded up/down
- Delicate DS tracks
The instructions are well drawn with full color painting and markings information. Color references are GUnze and Model Master. Any areas needing modification are clearly shown. The color options are both from 1938. One in overall panzer grey while the other has brown and what appears to be green areas broadly sprayed. The green has no reference info in the color chart. A set of decals is provided that is basically insignia. None are shown on the painting guide.
Now 1/72 armor modelers have another neat pre-war tank to add to their collections. Thanks to the engineering of this kit, it should be a pretty quick build and provide a neat tank for display.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or have them order it for you.
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